Need relationship advice FAST! Regards my beliefs

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Jello's picture
Need relationship advice FAST! Regards my beliefs

About 4 months ago I started talking to the girl of my dreams. I seriously want to marry this girl. She is a perfect human being and I love everything about her except for one thing. Obviously I'm an atheist, but she is not. In fact, about a year ago she got out of a relationship with her boyfriend of 4 years because he cheated, and she thinks "God" helped her get through it so she's been trying to get closer with him.

She started going to church and surrounded herself with a bunch of christians as she started her college experience and this semester she joined this christian group, and has even become one of the leaders of it, at her school and she does everything with them. As opposed as I am to religion, I really don't care that she's doing this. It makes her happy. But, because she is trying to get more into her religion, she is really struggling with the fact that I'm not a believer. The ONLY problems we've had so far have stemmed from her worrying about that. Everyone's telling her she needs to be in a "Christ based" relationship. I probably would have given up hope knowing this in the beginning if it weren't for her and her family's spirituality and my girlfriends loosey goosey interpretations of scripture. She isn't homophobic at all, and she doesn't think I'm damned to hell. She believes in reincarnation, as told me she thinks "all religions are a little bit true", and she thinks that only people who are really really bad, like mass murderers, are going to hell.

I doubt I could marry someone who views religion in exactly the same light as I do because I am the only person in my entire family, and one of very very few in my social circle that don't believe in god. My family, especially my parents, absolutely HATE that I'm an atheist and I'm sure would never accept an atheist girl. My best hope is for a super chill religious or agnostic girl, and she acts like that's what she was before her bad breakup. She isn't sure what she believes right now, and is trying to go down this super religious road. But she used to be way more spiritual than religious, and that's how her whole family is. Her friends that she's had before she started hanging out with these crazy christians are telling her this isn't who she is and she's not being herself if she tries to become this person. Her mother (and I think her grandmother) have told her the same thing. Her grandmother even sent her a long poem about the difference between spirituality and religion that basically eloquently shitted on religion and uplifted spirituality that my girlfriend forwarded to me and said I'd like it. When I asked her "is this how you feel?" she said she didn't know. She even told me that in high school she told her boyfriend she thinks she may be a buddhist (even though she hasn't studied the tenants of buddhism).

Her church is making her feel guilty for having this spiritual side too. I doubt that I could make her an atheist (at least right now, because that obviously takes time), and don't actually want to change her, but if she gets deeper into this super religious side it's going to break us. I really really really don't want this to happen. I'm open minded about her spiritual side and even find that kind of exciting, but I think religion is evil and will almost certainly ever even entertain the thought of being a christian again, especially knowing what I know now after studying my way into atheism. Anybody have any advice as to how I could encourage her to get back onto the spiritual road, or maybe even the road that I'm on without scaring her off? Just anything that will allow her to stop worrying about my atheism. We've discussed religion before and she said she hates talking about it with me because its stressful to her even though neither one of us expresses any sort of hostility just because she's supposed to be able to connect with the person she's dating on this. I need advice immediately.

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Old man shouts at clouds's picture
Dude

Dude
Hard as it is
Run. Away. Screaming. Now.

If you do not the outcome either way is tears. Wait until she comes out of the whole thing or do not wait. But committing now? whooo. A whole lotta bad news coming your way. Not necessarily from her but from others who will be sure you are a) wrong for her b) You need to be "faithed" c) Your children will need to be 'saved' from you by ANY means. Been through it. Got the wound medals.

Nyarlathotep's picture
Since it seems you can't

Since it seems you can't continue as is; I'd have to agree with the Old Man. Perhaps let her know of your concerns, something like:
"I'm concerned about the impact on my professional, financial, and family life; from a union with someone who believes in Iron Age fairy tales."

SecularSonOfABiscuitEater's picture
This might sound nuts but, 4

This might sound nuts but, 4 months ago I moved in with my girlfriend who also broke up with her ex about 2 years ago after dating for 4 years lol. And just like you, I am an atheist while she is religious. The difference is that we don't force our beliefs on one another and I think the key to our happiness is great chemistry in addition to a good privacy policy when it comes to our home and our relationship relative to the outside world. Even with family. It's need to know.
Honestly I feel like if I were to be militant about my atheism and always put that first, I'd still be single and miserable. My two cents. do with it what you will.

Jello's picture
Even though you guys respect

Even though you guys respect each others beliefs, does that cause any tension? Do y'all still have conversations about it? Did it take time for her to get used to the fact that you're not a believer? Would love to know more

Cognostic's picture
A young monk was talking to

A young monk was talking to his Buddhist master about a girl he had seen in town. "She was so pretty my heart was jumping in my chest and I could not think of what to say. Master, have you ever been in love?"

"Yes. I once met the perfect woman. She had big brown eyes, long dark hair, a smile that could charm a wild beast and the grace of an angel. I knew the moment I saw her that she was the perfect woman for me. "

"So, what happened."

"Well, as it turns out, I was not the perfect man for her."

IT ALWAYS TAKES TWO, You are not paying attention. You have created something in your mind that is not true. She is perfectly fine the way she is, or she is not. Make up your mind.

Jello's picture
I think you missed the point

I think you missed the point of what I said. I don't think she is being her true self right now. Her friends and family don't think she is. She wasn't this way before her breakup and before college. She is trying to find her true self right now. If she wasn't constantly surrounding herself with all of these crazy christians, I seriously doubt she'd be this way. She was telling me the other day about how she loves when she feels like a kid and hates growing up. I think this crowd just makes her feel safe.

mykcob4's picture
First problem with your story

First problem with your story. YOU BROUGHT IT HERE. This is not the place to solve relationship problems. How can random strangers solve your problem?
Also, there is no perfect woman or man. There aren't even perfect matches.
A christian is far from perfect. A christian lacks critical thinking skills. So every time this girl has a problem she is going to turn to a myth? Ridiculous!

Jello's picture
I just don't know where else

I just don't know where else to go and figured this is the only place where I could go that people could relate and maybe have some experience with this and some good advice. I think I could just get her to stop stressing I could get her to better understand why I think what I think. She may lack skepticism, but she's actually a really smart girl. She's never not had a 4.0, and maintains this at a prestigious university as a double major. I do not give a shit that she's religious by itself.

ZeffD's picture
We do encourage people to

We do encourage people to come here for support. I'm not sure we're good at it! :-)
You might try the American Humanist Association or a local non-believer group. Sometimes they have meetups and it is sometimes easier to speak face-to-face.
Thanks for sharing. It is illustrative of considerations that can arise between non-believers and superstitious people.

I had a relative who divorced his wife after she became a Mormon or Jehovah's Witness, or something like that. It can be a problem if people become sort of attached to a sect or congregation, or become fundamentalist or extreme. All superstition is bad and there can be problems if children come along and one parent decides that having religious faith is important.

I can only speak for myself but I couldn't be with someone in a lifelong relationship who took religion seriously. As one girl I knew said to me, "I am a Christian and I want someone who can support me in that". I suppose any religionist might come to feel that way one day.

Quote, "I am the only person in my entire family, and one of very very few in my social circle that don't believe in god." Give it time. There're lots of non-believers in the world now.

Sorry if I'm no help.

Diotrephes's picture
Jello,

Jello,

"About 4 months ago I started talking to the girl of my dreams. I seriously want to marry this girl. She is a perfect human being and I love everything about her except for one thing."

If you got married and she come down with a terrible disease would you stay married to her and take care of her? Would she stand by you if something bad was to happen to you? Do you respect her opinions and desires? Does she respect yours above everyone else's?

How devastated do you think you would be if you got married and later went through a bad divorce?

Are you on the same page when it comes to managing money?

What does she expect from being married to you? If she wants you to believe in her ethnocentric Middle Eastern religious fairy tale and you don't how unhappy will that make her?

Do you each value each other more than any other people you each know?

Grinseed's picture
She needs to sort this

She needs to sort this religious thing out herself.

Four months? Give it another four months, if just to give the oxytocin in your system time to wear off.

From what you have written she doesn't seem to be the sort of person anyone should be thinking of getting involved with until she has sorted out her life a bit. She has become a leader in the group but she doesn't know much about religion or christianity. She describe herself as probably being Buddhist without knowing any of the tenets.
It looks like her previous boyfriend's betrayal has had a huge impact for her to seek solace with a bunch of christians. People who have been emotionally damaged are the perfect potential converts for evangelists.
Obviously for her, the christian group look like a good deal for trust and support, and then there is her family on the other side, full of support and care as well, but they were not able to protect her from the hurt of her boyfriend.

Then there's you. I don't mean to be critical here, just practical.
I see a guy, you, definitely a romantic kind a guy, they usually make claims to finding "perfect women".
I am a cynic, that was my nickname in college and I wont apologise but there are no perfect women, Women aren't exotic beings for putting on pedestals, they are just humans and they come with the same sort of problems and attributes that men have and we all deserve the same kind of respect.
Your girl is in a hard place and you have identified this. I suspect that some of her appeal for you is the 'desperate' position you see her being in (hence your needing advice immediately in the OP). I think 'rescuing' her is part of your love interest and sorry but I think its probably the worst thing you can do. She needs to work this out herself.
You cant rescue her, she needs to be her own hero.
You can be her friend. At least be one person not condemning or demanding as will probably happen in time as her family and her christian mates move closer to win her over.

Forget marriage, she doesn't need that crap right now. If you genuinely care, chill out, get off the oxytocin, listen, give advice only when asked. Let her work it out. If you rescue her, she might later resent your interference and trust me you don't want to live with that.
My ranting two cents that you can have for free.

*added out of pure interest...Jello is an interesting name, is it a nickname from your friends or just a quick id for this forum?

Jello's picture
I get that it sounds super

I get that it sounds super cliche. I wasn't going to get into detail to justify me giving her so much praise in my original post and I'm actually pretty cynical myself. I have not boosted a girl like this before. I've also been in a long term relationship before and been involved with plenty of girls. I'm very very picky and rarely do I find a girl I actually even consider, let alone want to pursue. First of all, she is objectively an amazing catch. Anybody would want to be with her. She is seriously a 10 (anybody whose seen her will tell you this. I'm not just saying this because I like her. She could be a VS model), she is a genius, she's the furthest thing from a ho, she is very sweet and is a fun person to be around. I have been with girls like this before though. As a girlfriend, she's extremely trustworthy, faithful, open, and loving. She's also just a really interesting person. And we connect on a bunch of much deeper things but I'm not going to get to into that because I feel super fucking cheesy having typed this much. Point being that she's actually a girl that I want to keep around. I'm not like this with everyone.

On the point of wanting to "rescue her"... it wasn't like this when we got into this. That has never been my aspiration. I don't think she needs rescuing. I just want to go through life with her. I do, however, think she'd be much happier just being spiritual. She'd feel a lot more free. The only thing I'm trying to save is our relationship. I'm not the kind of guy that date's people to "fix" them or to try and change them. She doesn't even know who she is right now. I just know that the things that she definitely does have I think are wonderful.

And on my name... lol. Unfortunately... there's no story to it. I just thought of something random that has nothing to do with my real name in order to stay anonymous. I usually make that my name whenever I join a forum.

Tin-Man's picture
Hey there, Jello. (Love the

Hey there, Jello. (Love the name, by the way. *chuckle*) Welcome to the AR.

If you don't mind, I have a quick question. You said you met her about four months ago, but she broke up with her ex about a year ago and started getting deeply involved with the church. Was she already involved in the church before you two met, or did she start getting involved with the church after you met her?

Jello's picture
I'm not sure she went to

I'm not sure she went to church. I don't think she did. I do know that she was very nominal and didn't take it very seriously. She for sure was going before we met, but I don't think for very long and she didn't get involved with her youth group until after we started dating

Cognostic's picture
Ha ha ha ha ..... Cog said,

Ha ha ha ha ..... Cog said, "You have created a story in your own mind."

Jello said " I don't think she is being her true self right now. "

I rest my case!

Jello's picture
If her whole family is

If her whole family is telling her she isn't, all of her old friends are telling her she isn't, and she is even admitting that she doesn't know that she is but she's trying to find herself, is it not logical to suspect she's not?

Tin-Man's picture
Howdy again, J-E-L-L-O.

Howdy again, J-E-L-L-O. (Still diggin' that name.)

Okay, so she was going to church before you two met, and she is admitting she is still trying to "find herself." Well, buddy, I hate to be the bearer of bad news, but that is exactly what you must allow her to do. And if you start trying to influence her or interfere with that, then I'm afraid it could potentially bite you in the ass in the long run. I am telling you this from experience, and I have plenty of lumps and scars from having learned that lesson the hard way a number of times during my younger days. If the young lady is even half as smart as you say, then it stands to reason she will eventually figure things out for herself. And while I totally understand your urge to help her "see the right path" that YOU think she should take, you need to understand that is not your decision to make for her, despite how well-meaning your intentions might be. Meanwhile, if you truly care about her as much as you say, you need to give her the space she needs and simply be there for her as a friend. It sucks, I know. Shit like that is never easy. But until she determines who and what she wants to be, you are setting yourself up for some serious pain and heartache in trying to influence her one way or the other. That's just my own personal view on the matter. Wish I had better news for you.

Stu. K.'s picture
If you need relationship

If you need relationship advice, I saw a phone number you can call for that that keeps getting spammed by those bots on this site :p

CyberLN did you try and do an IP ban on those fuckers by the way?

Sorry not helpful (but I am hilarious right?)

LogicFTW's picture
@Jello original post

@Jello original post

I like others here, I am no relationship expert or even a counselor, after scanning your post, It sounds like you are actually facing two issues, that need to be dealt with separately even if they are similar and about the same overall topic. One the sudden, likely, self identity crisis of this girl you clearly are in love with, that went through a bad break up via cheating. The second issue is your family disapproval of atheism, and their desire for you to embrace their religion and to marry a woman that coincides with their beliefs rather than yours. You need to fully separate these issues instead of allowing them to compound each other.

Simply if you like this girl a lot, try to be understanding and try to give her time you may get lucky and she may change. If she likes you a lot and respects you, over time perhaps she will regain her own confidence, realize she does not need religion and realize it is a waste of her time to get heavily involved with it. Unfortunately religion does have powerful effective techniques to draw people in and keep them there it may be an uphill battle, of which you pushing her to back off will only deepen her resolve to commit to religion. If I were in your shoes, I would, when she is open to it, talk to her about it in a gentle, understanding, kind way as possible, do not attack her, make sure nothing you say can be misconstrued as "I think you are an idiot for following this god stuff." Just try to explore her own reasoning why she is deeply involved. If she as smart as you say she is, she may on her own begin to figure out all the inconsistency of religions. I find many people get very stubborn and resistant if you try to push or manipulate them. Instead let them discover for themselves. We here all know just about any religion is incredibly flawed when examined without religion dogma tinted glasses.

She likely needs to feel she can trust men, or people in general with her heart and feelings. I am guessing her husband cheating on her was her first serious long term relationship and she likely thought she would spend the rest of her life with that man up until she caught him cheating, (or found out.) Maybe just maybe, you can be the person that again shows her she can trust men with her heart again, and help her regain her self confidence and identity. Some of this may also have to do with age. If she is still very young her identity and beliefs are much more likely to be wildly in flux. Also, at least you know something important about her now. In times of crisis she looks more towards god/religion, like so many people do.

.

@Stu. K.
IP bans unfortunately are incredibly easy to get around. This site even encourages for the persecuted atheist to use vpn/tunneling/proxy tools that by their very nature defeat ip bans. The only truly effective anti bot tool that I know of is a cool down period where new accounts cannot not create new posts for something like a random 1-50 hours. (And sometimes more beyond this needs to be done if a spammer is determined enough.) But unfortunately that also acts as a barrier for people genuinely wishing to share their thoughts. If anonymity was not so important here I would say a facebook/twitter/etc sign in could be effective. Perhaps that option could be added for those that do not mind sharing there facebook with atheist republic admin only, and wanted to be able to create new post right away. Also a compromise of just 1 new post when the account is new, and then as the account aged and had regular activity that limited new posting barrier fades.

I suppose you could be saying this in dark humour/jest as well :)

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